We first heard of The Camphill Movement in 2009, when Viv, a chum of ours, told us that she and her husband had lived in a Camphill community for some years. We had been discussing what Rosie’s future may hold, given that she is an only child and her needs are complex. My husband and I were fully aware that she would require supported independence, purpose, stimulus and community. Rosie is extremely sociable and is demanding in that and in many respects - Rosie needs a hundred people around her! Viv gave us a book by Cornelius Pietzner, A Candle On The Hill, celebrating fifty years of the Movement, which was extremely interesting. We researched a little more about Camphill and this gave us hope about Rosie’s future.
When Rosie was just about to finish secondary school, we began looking around at what was on offer to her in terms of meaningful occupation to supplement her attendance at college two and a half days a week. The options that we explored in Glasgow didn’t inspire us as being suited to Rosie and we went to visit Camphill Blair Drummond with a view to her attending their Day Service. We were impressed by the range of activities and the level of support on offer and took Rosie to visit, too. She was keen to attend and so in 2011 she began attending, initially she attended weekly on a Friday, which soon became a Thursday and Friday and she loved it.
It came to our attention that Camphill Blair Drummond were expanding and so we applied for a residential place for Rosie and were delighted, if a little apprehensive, when she was offered a place. We spoke to Rosie about the prospect and took her to visit one of the houses. She explored it thoroughly then stopped and asked if she would be allowed to bring her laptop with her? We said yes and that seemed to seal the deal for her!
Rosie began living at Camphill in October 2013 and settled in very quickly. She feels a sense of belonging to the community, has made very good friends with her housemates and very much enjoys the company of the co-workers and staff. She is very happy living there. She has been allowed to mature as a young woman with a level of independence and support that is appropriate to her. Rosie comes home most weekends and is still very much a part of our lives. She attends a club she has been a part of since she was eight, and a drama class she has been attending since she was seven, so she is maintaining important relationships. Rosie has variety and connection in her life and our life as a family has very much improved and we all cope much better with the challenges our wonderful daughter presents and faces.
Kate Donnelly & Eric Coulter